It?EUR(TM)s A Mailbox, It?EUR(TM)s A Back-Up Drive, It?EUR(TM)s GMail!

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2005
It’s A Mailbox, It’s A Back-Up Drive, It’s GMail!
Until about a few months ago, backing up your data and carrying it around was a breeze thanks to the availability of sites like X-drive and SwapDrive. Unfortunately, they went the commercial way leaving many a user in the lurch. Enter GMail, with its 1000 MB storage in every mailbox. Apart from being a mailbox, this also re-opened doors for those interested in storing and backing up their data online.

As changes abound in the service, several new tools are also being launched to work with the service. GMail Drive is one such tool that allows you to easily backup and store data in your GMail account.

Step 1. Downloading And Installing GMail Drive
GMail Drive is a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual file system around your GMail account so that you can use it as a storage medium. To download it, go to www. In the description on the homepage, find the 'projects' link. This will open a list of the projects including 'GMail Drive'. Download the utility (approx. 120 KB), extract the contents from the .zip file, and run setup.exe to install the program.

Step 2. Setting Up GMail Drive
After installing the program, a new drive, 'GMail Drive', will appear in Windows Explorer. You can access this with your GMail login and password. You can also tick the 'Auto Login' box so that you are not prompted for your password each time. Once this is done, you can access the drive like any other on your computer.

Enter your GMail ID and password to access GMail Drive

Ticking the 'Auto Login' box is useful if you plan to perform automated backups on your GMail Drive. The drive can be operated like any other, and you can also perform all the functions you perform with other drives, including copying, pasting and deleting files, as well as searching. You can also use 'Send To' in the context menu to send these files to this drive.

How It Works
What actually takes place when you copy and paste files to the GMail Drive is, they are e-mailed to your GMail account as attachments. GMail Drive periodically checks your account for new files and rebuilds the directory structure. If you log on to your GMail account after pasting files in to your GMail Drive, you will see some mails sent from your GMail ID with the subject starting with 'GMAILFS'. These are the files you copied to your GMail Drive being sent as attachments.

Step 3. Creating Filters In GMail
As you back up more and more files, it can get tough to find the right file in a long list of e-mails. To make it easier, you could apply filters to your account and ensure that all backed-up files are automatically moved to a particular folder. To start with, you could move them all to the 'Archived Mail' folder. To set up filters in your e-mail account, you need to log in and click on the 'Create a filter' option. On the ensuing page, there will be various options and choices of filtering your mails. Choose the 'Have the words' option and type 'GMAILFS' in the box next to it.

Creat a filter in GMail to avoid your inbox getting cluttered due to GMail Drive

On the next page, tick the 'Skip the Inbox (Archive it)' checkbox and finally on 'Create a Filter'.

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